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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Auto

Relax, Drivers

Sharon Peters CTW Features
Q: I drove an Audi A8 recently and it had massaging front seats. I like it because most of my driving is long road trips and my back and hips get stiff. Don’t want an Audi though. Is this available on any other cars? A: It is. You’ll have to buy a high-end car (or high-ish end), but there are plenty, including (and this isn’t a complete list): Lincoln MKZ and MKX, Mercedes E-Class and Cadillac XTS. There’s even a pickup with this feature: Ford F-150. A reader comments: “You recently asked for reader suggestions for what car manufacturers could/should do in response to the increase in the number of people who travel with their dogs. Here’s what I would say: My dream SUV would have a means to secure the dog crate to keep it from tipping and tumbling on turns, but with a quick release in case of an accident. I also would love if the back cargo space window could open an inch or two for fresh air. A hook that would clamp around a leash would be helpful, again with a quick release. It would not be used when the car is in motion, of course, as that would be dangerous for a leashed dog in a quick-stop situation, but it would be used to keep a dog from escaping when the door is opened. Finally, I’ll share this little trick: my brother solved the water bowl dilemma by cutting down a plastic water bottle and sticking it in a cup holder. Perfect fit and perfect water container. Thanks for providing a forum so we can let car manufacturers know what dog owners need!” You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing your terrific ideas, all of which I could see working very well. You paying attention, carmakers? My additional suggestion for dog-friendly SUVs: a built-in, fold-up ramp for older dogs that can no longer leap up into the cargo space on their own. It would have the capability to be unscrewed and removed when the dog isn’t traveling and there is need to put more stuff into the cargo area. You paying attention, carmakers? What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email
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